This Holiday’s All About Sales

People might shop this holiday season after all – if retailers keep slashing their prices. This BusinessWeek article says that Old Navy has pairs of gloves for $1, and even Saks has slashed prices on some items by almost half.

Says retail analyst Jennifer Black: “”I have never seen any environment like this. The fight is on … They are all scared.”

Even chains like Kmart and TJX Cos. are using a tactic that we didn’t know still existed, putting thing on layaway so customers can pay in installments. So far those sales haven’t helped too much though, when looking at October’s sales results.

Can these strategies help retailers in the long run? It seems to be working for Wal-Mart. Or will sales like this destroy chains’ margins and make a terrible situation worse?

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4 Responses to “This Holiday’s All About Sales”


  1. 1 Kevin November 12, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Now more than ever, smart planning is key for retailers. With strategies that are well planned and executed, retailers can mitigate reduced profit margins and hold steady through this kind of market. Our firm, Callison, recently conducted a consumer survey which showed surprisingly that some consumers are actually shopping more, not less, when it comes to sales and promotions. This can spell a hidden opportunity for retailers – now is the time to get smart about integrating merchandising and promotions with operations and customer service.

  2. 2 LayawayReturns November 13, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Layaways are returning at retailers, dusted off from the days of the Great Depression, when it was originated. Make sure you know the layaway policy on how long the item will be held and if there are any extra fees for the service. Also, during the Depression, basement sales became quite popular and, sometimes, in NYC, became the way for the retailer to pay the rent upstairs, where sales were thin.

  3. 3 Bargain Basement November 13, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Hence the saying: “Bargain Basement Prices.” Right?

  4. 4 E November 14, 2008 at 10:33 am

    It’s going to be a “blue” christmas, man! Retail report was just released this a.m. with steepest monthly decline in aeons.

    With layoffs and uncertainty across the board, people are squeezing pennies till the pennies holler. Retailers can discount to the nth degree, but if people aren’t spending, it doesn’t matter. People can’t justify non-discretionary spending at-all. They’re not putting their money to work investing or spending, so our engine is puttering in perpetual “stall.”

    People out of jobs are scrambling, people employed are looking for 2nd jobs (or looking almost f/tfor transitional gigs in case they get the axe).

    Day to day fear and preoccupation with survival are potent clamps on our wallets.

    I don’t know what the answer is (or where to look for it), and I’m scared to death.


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